“What’s all this? I don’t seem to get you.”
Bambi’s laugh bubbled over.
“You get me, all right.”
“For goodness’ sake, talk sense.”
“You came here, three days ago, in a trance, and announced that you had been bounced from the boarding-house, and that you needed paper to blot up the big ideas—the Niagara ideas——”
“So I took you in, redeemed your clothes for you——”
“It was you who planted me upstairs in that heavenly quiet place, and brought black coffee?”
“God bless you for it.”
“I did something else, too.”
“Did you? What?”
“I married you.”
He looked at her, dazed, and then at the Professor.
“What’s the joke?” he asked.
“There is no joke,” said the Professor sternly. “She did it. I tried to stop her, but she never listens to me.”
“Do you mean, Bambi——” he began.
“I mean you told me to go ahead, so I got a license and a minister, and married you.”
“But where was I when you did it?”
“You were there, I thought, but it didn’t seem to take. Can’t you remember anything at all about it, Jarvis?”
“Not a thing. Word of honour! How long have we been married?”
“Three days. You couldn’t come out of the play, so I dragged you upstairs, fed you at stated periods, and let you alone.”
He looked at her as if for the first time.
“Why, Bambi,” he said, “you are a wonderful person.”
“I have known it all along,” she replied, sweetly.
“But why, in God’s name, did you do it?”
“That’s what I say,” interpolated the Professor.
“Oh, it just came to me when I saw you needed looking after——”
“Don’t you believe it. She intended to do it all along,” said her father, grimly. “I tried to dissuade her. I told her you were a dreamer, penniless, and always would be, but she wouldn’t listen to my practical talk.”
“I seem to get a pretty definite idea of your opinion of me, sir. Why didn’t you wake me up, so I could prevent this catastrophe?”
“I supposed you were awake. I didn’t know you worked in a cataleptic fit.”
“Catastrophe!” echoed Bambina.
“Certainly. Why don’t you look at it in a practical way, as your father says? I never had any money. I probably never will. I hate the stuff. It’s the curse of the age.”
“I know all that.”
“You will be wanting food and clothes no doubt, and you will expect me to provide them.”
“Oh, never! You don’t think I would take such an advantage of you, Jarvis, as to marry you when you were in a work fit and then expect you to support me?”
The Professor shook his head in despair, and arose.
“It’s beyond me, all this modern madness. I wash my hands of the whole affair.”